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Convey stars as Earthquakes eliminate Red Bulls

Bobby Convey (ISIPhotos.com)

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

The San Jose Earthquakes weren't given much of a chance when they took the field against the New York Red Bulls on Thursday night, but they knew they could pull the upset if the executed their game plan. And the New York Red Bulls? They knew they could put away this Eastern Conference playoff series if they finished the chances they were bound to create.

Only the Earthquakes were able to accomplish their mission.

Led by an inspired performance by Bobby Convey, the Earthquakes scored three goals and held off a mis-firing Red Bulls squad to post a dramatic 3-1 victory and 3-2 series aggregate victory at Red Bull Arena.

The win moves the Earthquakes into the Eastern Conference final, where they will face either the Columbus Crew or the Colorado Rapids. The Crew hosts the Rapids on Saturday in game two of their series (Colorado posted a 1-0 win in the first leg).

Convey scored an early goal to erase the 1-0 lead New York carried from the first leg, and as the Red Bulls wasted countless opportunities, the Earthquakes eventually found chinks in the Red Bulls armor. Convey led the way, adding a second goal before setting up Chris Wondolowski for the series-clinching goal to erase a dramatic tally by Juan Pablo Angel, who scored in his final game as a Red Bull.

The Red Bulls had a chance to equalize late, but Thierry Henry missed a free header later after coming on as a late substitute.

Convey was the star of the show, providing a threat on the left wing, and playing impeccable defense after replacing injured fullback Ramiro Corrales at left back just before halftime. He added his second goal by turning Tim Ream in the penalty area and beating Bouna Coundoul from close range, then delivered the series-clinching assist in the final minutes.

What did you think of the result? Impressed with San Jose? Still can't believe New York lost? Think the Earthquakes can make a run to the MLS Cup Final?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. I wouldn’t call it a failure.. but for NY fans anything apart from an MLS cup final should be extremely disappointing with THAT MUCH TALENT

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  2. When the league fills out with 20 teams conferences will make sense. The odd playoff outcome is because MLS is in puberty. A mature league might look like:
    East: ny ne dc cmb chi kc tor phi mtrl ?stl/mia/atl
    West: la hou dal col sj chv rsl sea pdx van
    Season: play each conf team twice (18 games); play each non-conf team once (10 games, home game alternates year to year). 28 games total.
    Playoffs: top 4 each conf (1v4, 2v3)

    Benefits: reduces intercoast travel. Strengthens rivalries. Coveted playoff spots (4 of 10 each conf.) 2 less reg season games reduces fixture congestion.

    We need to keep in mind that MLS is building for the long term.

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  3. As a neutral, with no stake in the outcome, this was a fantastic watch! Could NYRB have played better defensively? Absolutely. Did Red Bulls dominate? Not really. Was this a fair outcome? The score says it all. This thread seems to be all about the Red Bulls, with no credit given at all to San Jose, who scored 3 fantastic goals. Convey was fabulous, as was Agudelo, but in the context of a phenominal match, it was a just outcome.

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  4. Was at the game. Great atmosphere, SJ deserved to win.

    I would have put in Henry for Angel at 70.

    I watched Agudelo in Open Cup games and he was nowhere near as good as he was last night. He picked up his game when he needed to.

    If I managed RBNY, I’d leave Marquez unprotected in the expansion draft. He’s not clearly better than Tchani, IMHO. Maybe once was. Not now.

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  5. I thought the game was fairly entertaining, and SJ did well with their few chances. I thought NYRB played with quality, but I found myself groaning at the continual direct play by SJ. How many times did they pass over the top and lose the ball? Dang, I hate that – they looked like the USMNT!

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  6. Yep, i know. If I didn’t get the chance to see him almost every match this year, I’d probably be questioning the hype. It is pretty cool that rookie played every single minute for his club at a position as difficult and important as center back.

    BTW, I thought Najar should win ROY, so I’m not looking at this through completely Taurine-soaked glasses.

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  7. Cap thaat 17 y/o kid quick! Also, agree with Wynalda, Convey deserves a call up again in Nov0…he’s in form and on top of his game…

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  8. So happy for Bobby Convey, he was a favorite at Reading before he had his chronic knee problems and never really got to play with the club in the EPL. Great to see him running, finishing, and above all, playing with so much joy.

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  9. NYRB were on ESPN2 a week or two ago and it was one of the worst games I have ever seen in MLS. Last night was the exact opposite with so much heart shown on both sides it was a great game to watch and the best playoff game thus far. NYRB wing players made so many great runs down the flanks only to go for the glory themselves instead of play the final ball to JPA who was open on most of those chances in the middle of goal. However, Convey made the few San Jose chances stick. Fun to watch

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  10. how is making DP purchases that are well within MLS guidelines considered buying a championship? its illogical. RBNY tried to strengthen the team after last years abysmal performance and they did just that.

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  11. Right. This should have been by all rights a rebuilding year for the Red Bulls. And they succeeded. Expectations for Backe and the Bulls will be much higher next year, and I’m looking forward to an exciting season.

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  12. In 2003 Convey played at least once — but I believe several times — at left back for the USMNT (with Beasley at left mid). As I recall the reviews were mixed at best and the experiment was stopped.

    I like Convey and have always hoped that he could get back into the fold. I even txted a friend early in the first half that his best shot to play again for the USMNT was at left back. Maybe he will get a chance in January. But, the more important point is that it’s 7+ years later and a player who even now is only an occasional left back for San Jose is still being mentioned for the position.

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  13. Look at how MLS seeds the teams for the playoffs. It looks like a 4 year old came up with the idea while watching Dora the Explorer…

    Right now the seeding is totally goofed up: #1 vs. #6, #2 vs. #5, #3 vs. #8. How the hell is this fair?? In a single table, the top 8 teams would get in, #1 vs. #8, #2 vs. #7, #3 vs. #6, etc.

    There is NO reason to stick to the conferences. The teams play a balanced schedule. Plus, how many sports leagues in the world have a western conference team playing in the eastern conference? It makes my brain hurt.

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  14. TBE…agreed…it’s just that some have already anointed him the next great USMNT center back. Making the leap to the next level is not an easy task. Don’t get me wrong…I like the kid a lot…a ton of skill and technique.

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  15. Any MLS voters that were reconsidering their vote for rookie of the year after Reams “strong first half” had to reconsider that reconsideration after he got schooled by COnvey on the second goal…

    The guys just not that good defensively

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  16. Yeah, you’re right. Having three designated players is a horrible idea, and how dare NY play within the rules and use those three DP slots. What an abomination.

    We should keep attracting only the third and fourth-tier players for MLS. It would be so awesome to go back to the quality of the league five years ago. That would really bring in new fans.

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  17. MLS really needs to just get rid of conferences. Have 1 league table and top 8 go to playoffs. The league is big enough now to not have conferences

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  18. I believe this is why he did not win ROY. The voters saw Najar as the better player and as each year goes by it will become more obvious. If Ike Opara had played the full year it would have been between Opara and Najar for ROY. Other rookies who will pass Ream are: Hamid, Agudelo and Mwanga imo

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  19. You may be right, kimo. But, let’s remember it is only his first year as a pro. We’ve seen other center backs who are not very quick who have done the job for years through toughness and smart positioning. He is going to get beat on occasion, though. That doesn’t make him a bad player, as some people on these boards think.

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  20. For all you single table enthusiast what changes? The top 8 are already in the playoffs the only difference is instead of being an eastern conference champ your the east bracket champ, whopdie do….

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  21. Ream was very good. Don’t understand all the hate on a guy that could very well be a NT player in the future (some of the hate on Najar for ROY was overblown and foolish but its no excuse to dump on Ream). We should be happy all these guys are playing well.

    I was a fan of Najar for ROY but I would never disparage a solid young player like Ream because of that.

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  22. What a game! Very exciting!

    Could the D have been a little better….sure, but that is the reason no one is picking either team to win MLS this year.

    Three more games to go this weekend. What a great weekend for US soccer.

    And for NY fans, next year is going to be incredible with the Red Bulls and so many other teams looking like they will be better next year.

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  23. What is with all the hate? A team goes from first to worst and this a failure of a year? And towards the attendance haters, I wasn’t at the game, unfortunately, but I’ve been to a number of RBNY games, and there are always a lot of people sitting in the upper half of the stands that you don’t see on TV. Besides, the support was great, and many other teams don’t get such great support. But I will concede that our team played poorly when it counted and our DPs were not up to the occasion. I really do hope we have Agudelo and Henry as our strikers next and not Salou and Henry.

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  24. Ream’s lack of elite athleticism is going to let him down at the next level. However, what’s not to like about the kid from a technical standpoint? He has more technique than pros 10 yrs senior to him. Just wish he was a bit more fleet of foot.

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  25. IMHO, that was one of the worst, if not the worst, defensive games of the whole year by RB. Ream turned by Convey on a high school maneuver?? Left back for RB absolutely sucked and Marquez is not running enough to be worth the money.

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  26. hahahaha

    Also, what’s a soar loser? Someone who takes losing to new heights? That would have to be DC United, would it not?

    Will everyone now question Hans Backe for not playing Henry earlier like they criticized Robert W. of Columbus last year for resting GBS. I know Henry was hurt, but this was elimination football.

    P.S. I was VERY glad to see that Henry looked hurt by his team losing last night. I’m glad it means something to him, unlike a certain Mr. Goldenballs who took to losing like a fish takes to water for a couple years there in LA.

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  27. Was at the game. Was quite painful. Juan Pablo may have scored the lone goal, but he was absent for most of the game. Wish Tony Tchani wasn’t hurt so Bellouchy never saw the field. Miller was awful in this game. I suppose the plus is Aguadelo looks like he’s got something and his future is bright. Lindpere has a motor that runs nonstop. And while he may have been responsible for one goal, Ream is a stud.

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  28. Ballouchy single handidly killed about three of New York’s best offensive chances last night… all within a five minute period leading up to all the goals.

    Kandji might not be very useful as anything but a back-up, but Colorado improved their team by subtraction with that trade.

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  29. Colorado will counter attack Columbus to death. If anything, Cummings is MORE dangerous when he’s running up top alone then when Colorado gets so many players forward like they did last week (it just gets too crowded up there to make any moves).

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  30. karlomabo u r out of yur freakin mind. How can u be critical of a coach that added 30+ points in his first yrs. in a new to…league?
    Backe has something other coaches in MLS wish they had a personality. I bet TFC, Revolution, DC UNITED would snap Backe up in a heart beat. You were probably one of thoe guys who said at teh begin of the season that Backe would failed in the MLS because it’s different.

    The team had numerous chances last night. Somethings the other guys are just lucky. The goalie (Busch) stood strong. Don’t dimishes what was some quality ball playong la. night by failing to credit the opposition.

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  31. Poor Henry?

    Including those that were converted, no one had a better chance to score than Henry. For a high school player, let alone a striker that was once considered the world’s best, it is criminal to not put an open header within the six on goal.

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  32. Since the first day I dont like Backe.. he is too defensive, he never ajust the lineup.. waiting to the last 15 minutes to make subs.. you dont have to be a soccer master mind to realize that the defense suck yesterday.. Mendez and Miller were having a bad day. Marquez was terrible… Richards was no existing… and Angel was done… why wait to the minute 90 to turns things around.. He was ok with the 1-0 … waiting for a goal and then get to next round with a tie… that was his game plan.. Backe SUCK!! he is an European OSORIO!!

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  33. All in all I enjoyed last night’s game. Image if the play were as competitive all season long. I also can not complain about a wonderful year from the Red Bulls, the fans & RedBull for a great team an arena. From management manager, it was a rewarding season. Remember teh future is bright.

    Thank you
    see you in March 2011

    Reply

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